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Old 19.10.2013, 09:26
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Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

SVP came up with a tax reform for families that has today a very large support (65-70%) and is likely to pass. If you look at the details it's actually a bad thing for women in switzerland. Let me explain:

Today in families where both partners work, they get tax deduction for sending kids to day care. It helps women who work as it reduces the cost burden for the household. If one of the partners stay at home there is no deduction of course and SVP wants to balance that.

This sounds good on paper (who does not want to help families?). But looking at the details it's I think catastrophic:

- for families where both partners work they could be actually losing money and that would encourage women (or men) to stay at home as tax advantage would be better.

- a study has shown that a household with 2 kids and only 1 partner working, if they have 60'000CHF annual revenue they get 200 CHF/year. If the revenue is 200'000CHF/Year they get 2'600 CHF!

In summary, it does not really help low revenues classes. It will encourage women/mothers to stay at home....unlikely that men will stay at home.

In a country where we need skilled people and where the same party wants to limit immigration, I don't see the logic behind excluding 50% of population from working and contributing to the economy.

I will vote NO!

PS: Link to the stuy done by the Swiss Academy for Social Sciences
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Last edited by MrVertigo; 19.10.2013 at 09:41. Reason: added link
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Old 19.10.2013, 09:33
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

Can you link the actual details and how it is calculated ?

At the moment, there is a 200chf per month (or a bit more or less depending on the Canton, age of children etc) payment for each child. Plus a deduction for childcare, but it's a tax deduction, which is capped, and also totally canton-dependent. In Zurich it's not really worth much...

Is the SVP initiative specific to single-income families ?
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Old 19.10.2013, 09:43
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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Can you link the actual details and how it is calculated ?

At the moment, there is a 200chf per month (or a bit more or less depending on the Canton, age of children etc) payment for each child. Plus a deduction for childcare, but it's a tax deduction, which is capped, and also totally canton-dependent. In Zurich it's not really worth much...

Is the SVP initiative specific to single-income families ?
I added the link to the study by Swiss Academy for social sciences (french an german only)

Yes the initiative is targeting families that keep kids at home. So the whole initiative will create an environment where it's better for a partner to stay at home and it will be likely be the mother. Going back to a family model of the 19th century.

Most studies show that the best way to help is to increase the allowance by child.
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Old 19.10.2013, 09:47
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

I skimmed the argument, and it's turning something very simple (tax deduction for having children) into a massive ideological debate....

There is already a tax deduction for having children, it's called the Kinderzulagen. The additional tax deduction towards the cost of childcare is so minimal, it's almost a joke - you can claim up to around 10,000chf of childcare, but you only get the tax back on that cost - maybe it's worth 1000chf in the tax return ? less than 100 a month ? And I think that's for all children, not per child... when you are paying upwards of 2000 per month for full time childcare, and that's at the 'cheaper' end of the scale, unless you can get a subsidised place at a government-run childcare (which is how it works in Zurich).... in other Cantons you get a childcare rebate that can be applied to your choice of childcare, but in Zurich it's limited to specific childcare centres...

Basically, the SVP wants to abolish the childcare-specific rebate with a child-specific rebate. Is the proposal for a 'per child' tax rebate...and if so, for what age of child ? If it's multipliable by the number of children, I'm all for it (we have 3!) .... will it cut out at age 12 or some other age ? Will it cut out at a certain income level ? will it be a higher percentage for lower income families ?

As noted, giving tax deductions as a social strategy gives far higher benefits to higher income families, and doesn't give much benefit to the low income families... I would consider it a 'vote-winning' strategy, not one that has major impact on the social fabric.

In Australia there is also a 'dependent spouse' rebate for tax purposes, that means if you have a low income spouse (below a particular threshold) or a 'no income' spouse, you get an extra tax rebate, and also for the children.... and it's essentially the same amount of money if you are earning a low or a high income...
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Old 19.10.2013, 09:56
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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I skimmed the argument, and it's turning something very simple (tax deduction for having children) into a massive ideological debate....

There is already a tax deduction for having children, it's called the Kinderzulagen. The additional tax deduction towards the cost of childcare is so minimal, it's almost a joke - you can claim up to around 10,000chf of childcare, but you only get the tax back on that cost - maybe it's worth 1000chf in the tax return ? less than 100 a month ? And I think that's for all children, not per child... when you are paying upwards of 2000 per month for full time childcare, and that's at the 'cheaper' end of the scale, unless you can get a subsidised place at a government-run childcare (which is how it works in Zurich).... in other Cantons you get a childcare rebate that can be applied to your choice of childcare, but in Zurich it's limited to specific childcare centres...

Basically, the SVP wants to abolish the childcare-specific rebate with a child-specific rebate. Is the proposal for a 'per child' tax rebate...and if so, for what age of child ? If it's multipliable by the number of children, I'm all for it (we have 3!) .... will it cut out at age 12 or some other age ? Will it cut out at a certain income level ? will it be a higher percentage for lower income families ?

As noted, giving tax deductions as a social strategy gives far higher benefits to higher income families, and doesn't give much benefit to the low income families... I would consider it a 'vote-winning' strategy, not one that has major impact on the social fabric.

In Australia there is also a 'dependent spouse' rebate for tax purposes, that means if you have a low income spouse (below a particular threshold) or a 'no income' spouse, you get an extra tax rebate, and also for the children.... and it's essentially the same amount of money if you are earning a low or a high income...
Kinderzulagen = allowance for child, it's independent from revenue and is not a tax deduction!

The issue here is that SVP introduces a tax deduction for virtual costs/expenses related to a virtual revenue. it's going to cost 1-2 billion CHF in taxes to Federal/cantonal states. Who is going to pay this?
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Old 19.10.2013, 09:57
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

It looks to me that the SVP just want to abolish the childcare rebate....it's an idological issue.

Someone else already pointed out that the best way to get money to low-income families, is by increasing the 'kinderzulagen'.

Article from News.ch put through google translate:
http://translate.google.ch/translate...en-US:official

If I was swiss, I'd vote 'No' to the SVP proposal as well, it's an idologically driven piece aimed at abolishing any sort of rebate for families that use childcare...and setting up a 'discrimination' argument - and yet the discrimination is squarely targeted at women, and holding women to some sort of obligation to be home-makers and child-raisers, and dependent financially on their (usually male) partner....
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Old 19.10.2013, 10:05
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

It should be noted that any sort of 'universal' tax rebate for a child, delivered through the tax system, discriminates strongly against families who are on very low incomes and don't pay tax anyway. That is why the 'kinderzulagen' is delivered on the pay-slip, not on the tax return. You get it as an 'additional income' and I'd assume it's factored in to social payments if you are a very-low income family.

It's also strongly discriminatory against single-income families, who are obliged to use childcare, and have limited options. Personally, I think they deserve all the help they can get.

Oh, and considering that Switzerland has only had a tax rebate for childcare costs since 2011, and that was considered a massive step forward to supporting women with small children who have paid work)....even if it's a small impact, it has the potential to be increased over time, whereas abolition would set it back to zero.
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Old 19.10.2013, 10:17
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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It should be noted that any sort of 'universal' tax rebate for a child, delivered through the tax system, discriminates strongly against families who are on very low incomes and don't pay tax anyway. That is why the 'kinderzulagen' is delivered on the pay-slip, not on the tax return. You get it as an 'additional income' and I'd assume it's factored in to social payments if you are a very-low income family.
yes totally agree on that.

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It's also strongly discriminatory against single-income families, who are obliged to use childcare, and have limited options. Personally, I think they deserve all the help they can get.
do you mean mono-parental families here?

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Oh, and considering that Switzerland has only had a tax rebate for childcare costs since 2011, and that was considered a massive step forward to supporting women with small children who have paid work)....even if it's a small impact, it has the potential to be increased over time, whereas abolition would set it back to zero.
- 2011 was the introduction of rebate in the DIRECT FEDERAL TAX....the rebate existed previously on the cantonal level in almost all cantons. The difference were in the capped allowed deduction: Valais was 3'000 CHF and in tessin 10'000 CHF. Creates a difference between very conservative cantons like Valais and others.
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Old 19.10.2013, 10:18
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

Yes, I meant single-parent (rather than single-income)....
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Old 19.10.2013, 10:30
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

Read the study - thank you for the link. One thing that is missed is the pension benefit that a double income family gets, i.e that each partner is part of a pension scheme and can save money towards old age as part of a second pillar scheme. For a non-working partner this is not possible, so that double-income families have an advantage here single income families do not have; an example

Income one: 80 000 per annum with required pension
Income two: 70 000 per annum with required pension

Pension paid on 150 000 of income

Single earner at 150 000 per annum with required pension

Pension paid on only 126 000 of income

so at retirement the double income family is far better off

Additionally the single income family pays more tax than the double income family on the same amount of net income because double income families already have additional deductions, e.g. the deduction for when both partners work.
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Old 19.10.2013, 10:42
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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Read the study - thank you for the link. One thing that is missed is the pension benefit that a double income family gets, i.e that each partner is part of a pension scheme and can save money towards old age as part of a second pillar scheme. For a non-working partner this is not possible, so that double-income families have an advantage here single income families do not have; an example

Income one: 80 000 per annum with required pension
Income two: 70 000 per annum with required pension

Pension paid on 150 000 of income

Single earner at 150 000 per annum with required pension

Pension paid on only 126 000 of income

so at retirement the double income family is far better off

Additionally the single income family pays more tax than the double income family on the same amount of net income because double income families already have additional deductions, e.g. the deduction for when both partners work.
yes good point. I was wondering if for the same income a family with a single income could save more (less expenses for day care etc...) and invest that in buying into 2nd pillar --> reduces tax burden.
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Old 19.10.2013, 11:12
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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yes good point. I was wondering if for the same income a family with a single income could save more (less expenses for day care etc...) and invest that in buying into 2nd pillar --> reduces tax burden.
Possible, but only the earning partner can buy additional capital into the existing scheme which is then (mostly) at a lower interest rate (non-obligatory) than the obligatory part of BVG (there is also a ceiling in place as to how much one can "stock up", but is usually high enough). A non-working person cannot have a second pillar. Since a single income family already pays more tax on the same amount of income that a double income family would, there is not that much additional to save in any event.
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Old 19.10.2013, 12:15
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

OP: who the hell the government is to tell us how the family should work?

Who needs a break? Mostly low-incomers with kids. Why the child-care is so over-regulated in the first place that it is unaffordable?

Now, in the most needy environment, two working poor - isn't it a recipe for kids failing as well? You know that, based on research in US, the reason for middle-income-family kids' good performance at school is that their parents either work with them directly or pay for additional education. That's by observing that after e.g. summer vacation the performance gap increases (and is correlated with income) while during a school-year the gap actually closes/diminishes.
So what I see is the state targeting the income side but neglecting other aspects.
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Old 19.10.2013, 12:20
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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OP: who the hell the government is to tell us how the family should work?

Who needs a break? Mostly low-incomers with kids. Why the child-care is so over-regulated in the first place that it is unaffordable?

Now, in the most needy environment, two working poor - isn't it a recipe for kids failing as well? You know that, based on research in US, the reason for middle-income-family kids' good performance at school is that their parents either work with them directly or pay for additional education. That's by observing that after e.g. summer vacation the performance gap increases (and is correlated with income) while during a school-year the gap actually closes/diminishes.
So what I see is the state targeting the income side but neglecting other aspects.
The governent is AGAINST this initiative. The party SVP/UDC is the initiant and support of this initiative.

Clearly supporting high revenue families and traditional view of it.
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Old 19.10.2013, 13:22
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

Thank you OP and others. I have been following this story in the news and your posts have added refreshing and useful perspective. I too am against this initiative though we are a "traditional" family that stands to benefit from it.

I do agree with the SVP that the current tax credit is discriminatory against "traditional" families (ie. one parent stays at home). I am of the personal opinion that it is not the place of government to promote or penalize any one family model. If the government wants to promote families with children (period.) it can be more effectively done through less discriminatory methods such as toothier/meaningful kinderzulagen based in part on need or improved subsidies of childcare spots at the source ("traditional" families also need to use childcare sometimes for various reasons).

Last edited by M_McPoyle; 19.10.2013 at 14:24.
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Old 19.10.2013, 13:37
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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Why the child-care is so over-regulated in the first place that it is unaffordable?
My guess is that child care is not viewed here as a "throw away" profession and people are supposedly being paid adequate wages - this is not true in the US. Child care workers there are paid a pittance.
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Old 19.10.2013, 13:56
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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My guess is that child care is not viewed here as a "throw away" profession and people are supposedly being paid adequate wages - this is not true in the US. Child care workers there are paid a pittance.
Correct. All the carers at my daughter's krippe are either qualified as Fachfrau Betreuung EFZ (the federally-acknowledged qualification for carers, be it childcare, elderly care, etc) or training towards that qualification. It's a serious profession - the training includes a day and a half a week of classroom training as well as working the rest of the time in the krippe.

Why? Because a) this means they're all (at least, the ones we work with) immensely competent and unflappable, and b) it's intended as a stepping stone to a further career in the caring professions.

From what I understand, as a proportion of salary the cost of childcare's more or less commensurate with that in places like the UK.
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Old 19.10.2013, 14:23
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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SVP came up with a tax reform for families that has today a very large support (65-70%) and is likely to pass. If you look at the details it's actually a bad thing for women in switzerland. Let me explain:

Today in families where both partners work, they get tax deduction for sending kids to day care. It helps women who work as it reduces the cost burden for the household. If one of the partners stay at home there is no deduction of course and SVP wants to balance that.

This sounds good on paper (who does not want to help families?). But looking at the details it's I think catastrophic:

- for families where both partners work they could be actually losing money and that would encourage women (or men) to stay at home as tax advantage would be better.

- a study has shown that a household with 2 kids and only 1 partner working, if they have 60'000CHF annual revenue they get 200 CHF/year. If the revenue is 200'000CHF/Year they get 2'600 CHF!

In summary, it does not really help low revenues classes. It will encourage women/mothers to stay at home....unlikely that men will stay at home.

In a country where we need skilled people and where the same party wants to limit immigration, I don't see the logic behind excluding 50% of population from working and contributing to the economy.

I will vote NO!

PS: Link to the stuy done by the Swiss Academy for Social Sciences

A) Since when does the SVP need any logic behind their considerations

B) As most people have as much a clue about this particular matter as me, which means NONE, anything of an outcome is possible
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Old 20.10.2013, 20:26
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

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it's going to cost 1-2 billion CHF in taxes to Federal/cantonal states. Who is going to pay this?
Single people without any children, which is supposed to be 'fair' in taxation terms (somebody else pays, in layman's terms)
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Old 20.10.2013, 20:43
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Re: Family fiscal initiative by SVP (24 Nov.2013)

Don't forget that the child support payments (Kinderzulagen) of at least Sfr 200,-- per month per child, are funded by the employers paying into a cantonal fund. The SVP payments would be funded by taxation, and thus possibly allow the employers to reduce their payments in future.
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